There have been a few great men of God who did not have much education. Consider men like DL Moody and Billy Sunday. Then we have others who had no formal theological education who rose to become amongst the greatest preachers of all time … such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon and Martin Lloyd Jones. Whether it was those with no education or those with no formal theological education, each of these men were soundly converted, Gospel men and fulfilled God’s requirement:
2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
It is very sad that in the world in which we live, some churches or denominations will not consider a man offering himself for ministry unless he has a master’s degree. I have seen churches decline numerically and financially when a pastor pursues the next degree and next degree. Let me say outright … I am all for education and all for the best education … but not for education sake and not to acquire a string of degrees behind your name. No! I am for education … and in the church … theological education of the highest and best quality to serve Jesus and the Gospel better. If this is not the individual seeking degrees intention, then the Gospel Plot has been lost. Having said all that, we have great men in our era who have PhD. Degrees, who never mention their qualifications and are excellent expositors of Scripture, good authors and wonderful pastors. Often God educates special people for special tasks.
1) Moses was an educated man.
Ac 7:22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
Growing up in the kings’ palace with a princess as a stepmother, he was privy to the way one manages a country … and Egypt in those days was a superpower. He was sent as a “prince” to the finest schools and universities in the country. He had forty years of top class education. Be it in secular life and work or in fulltime or part time Gospel work, seek the very best education possible. Unless God blesses you particularly, the better the education the better you will be to do the work you do.
2) The next step in Moses’ education. One needs to remember that living in his mother’s house until he was weened, which was most likely around the age of four, he would have been influenced as to his true people, the true God and who his true family were. We pick up our reading again
Ac 7:23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’ 27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.”
These verses show how wrong one’s perceptions might be. God never condones sin, yet he used Moses’ sin for Moses’ growth and development as His earthly messiah.
(1) He visits those who are his blood and finds one being treated badly … manhandled and hurt and he goes to assist this man, but it turned into such a struggle that Moses killed the Egyptian soldier / security guard. He tells us about this in:
Ex 2:11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
Moses believed this act would show his people that God was on their side sending him to help.
(2) It did not as the following day he came across two of his people fighting and in trying to bring peace one of the two turned on him saying … ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ His first comment was in anger. Little did he know the answer was “God would make Moses ruler and judge over all of Israel.” His anger developed in accusing Moses of wanting to kill him.
Ex 2:14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”
As these things unfolded one might want to ask why Moses went and blew the good thing he had. Almost a stepson to Pharaoh, adopted son of a princess, great education, living in luxury with the world at his feet. Literally the future had no limits … yet he was patriotic … although living in luxury he was a Hebrew at heart … a very loyal one thanks to his mother.
(3) Now what did all this have to do with the next step in his education?
Ac 7:29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
He feared for his life.
Ex 2:14 Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.
(4) In Midian Moses’ life takes on a new direction.
Ex 2:16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
From here, Moses started to work for the priest of Midian who gave one of his daughters to Moses in marriage.
Ex 2:21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become an alien in a foreign land.”
You might want to take up and read Exodus 1-3 for a fuller picture of how Moses’ life changed.
(1) He became a shepherd working for his father-in-law.
(2) He cared for dumb sheep for forty years.
(3) He married and became a father. These three things became the next chapter in his education.
(a) A husband and a father with all the responsibility that this carries.
(b) Working for a boss. In Egypt he was a prince with servants and access to his stepmother the princess and having an easy audience with the king. Now he was an employee.
(c) Caring for restless, dumb sheep showed him how to care for two million plus Israelites who were stiff necked, hard hearted, stubborn people who always resisted God and their leaders. This part of his education was vital. So after 80 years of training he was ready to lead the people of God!
Father, as we unpack Your Word, we start to see how everything fits together to where You usher in Messiah for our benefit. Amen.